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The King Steps Out (1936)

 -  Musical | Romance  -  28 May 1936 (USA)
6.4
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Ratings: 6.4/10 from 99 users  
Reviews: 8 user

Princess is destined to marry the Emperor, until her sister steps in.

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Title: The King Steps Out (1936)

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Cast

Cast overview:
Grace Moore ...
Princess Elizabeth / Cissy (as Miss Grace Moore)
...
...
Maximilian, Duke of Bavaria
Raymond Walburn ...
Col. Von Kempen
Elisabeth Risdon ...
Grand Duchess Sofia
Nana Bryant ...
Louise
...
Capt. Palfi
Frieda Inescort ...
Princess Helena
Thurston Hall ...
Major
Herman Bing ...
Pretzelberger
George Hassell ...
Herlicka
Johnny Arthur ...
Chief of the Secret Police
Edit

Storyline

Princess is destined to marry the Emperor, until her sister steps in.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

based on play

Genres:

Musical | Romance

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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

28 May 1936 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Sissy  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Noiseless Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Film debut of Gwen Verdon. See more »

Soundtracks

Stars in My Eyes
Lyrics by Dorothy Fields
Music by Fritz Kreisler
Copyright 1936 Chappell & Co., Inc.
Sung by Grace Moore
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Great fun
21 December 2009 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

I am reminded of the cry of my toddler nephew when witnessing a minor mishap, a plaintive beatific "oh no!", often with his little finger raised aloft; I am reminded of this when examining this film's reputation on the IMDb, and sadly, it appears to have been seen by few people. This is not typical von Sternberg heroin, and I can only think that the few people who have seen it here were expecting such. The soul of the film is much more to do with Ernst Lubitsch. I think it does very well on that level, it's a saucy comedy. One thing that is typical of von Sternberg however, is that the movie has dream absurdity. The clan of Habsburg blue-bloods on display here have more in common with the Munsters than with any sort of historical reality.

The film is mostly a farce. The Empress Mother of the Austro-Hungarian Empire decides to marry her son Emperor Franz Josef (played with elegance by Franchot Tone) off to a relative, the princess Helena, who is a pretty little drip, seemingly permanently anaesthetised. Her sister Sissi wishes to save her from this fate and henpecks her curmudgeonly father Maximilian, Duke of Bavaria, out of the door to intercede on Helena's behalf to stop the arranged marriage.

You would not guess given the absurdly low rating of this film that it a bona fide rib-tickler. Uncredited Raymond Brown as the innkeeper of The Golden Ox is simply hilarious. Just watch him try to catch his own whistle. One thing that I like to see in a comedy is misplaced hysteria, the innkeeper's hilarious rasping, lisping, and stuttering, when he gets out of control and confused are a glory, similarly the chief of the secret police, who really appears to be afraid of his own shadow, will have you rolling on the floor as he flinches and twitches.

Sissi and Franz Josef's lovemaking is the backbone of the movie and is amusing and constantly carefree, and even raunchy (given the times).

I enjoyed seeing the corps de ballet in this film, practising in a hall, Sternberg's play of light and dark attempting to give Degas a run for his money in terms of ballet studies. There seemed almost no reason for the scene, but I'm not complaining.

This is not one of the great movies, but it is something I specifically chose as Christmas fare par excellence, and I chose well.


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